Greta Thunberg has revealed she most likely had coronavirus (COVID-19) and is currently self-isolating, using her enormous platform to urge young people to pay attention to the other gripping global crisis of our times.
The climate activist, 17, took to Instagram this morning to say she experienced minor flu-like symptoms in self-isolation after travelling through Europe with her father.
Thunberg’s home nation, Sweden, limits COVID-19 testing to at-risk individuals, meaning she never got confirmation. But her dad’s symptoms, combined with the explosion of cases in Europe, leads her to believe she had the virus.
“Now I’ve basically recovered, but – AND THIS IS THE BOTTOM LINE: I almost didn’t feel ill,” she said.
“My last cold was much worse than this! Had it not been for someone else having the virus simultainously [sic] I might not even have suspected anything.”
Australian health authorities state COVID-19 appears to affect children and young people differently to the elderly and those with pre-existing health conditions, and that’s a big reason why our schools are still open.
But Thunberg’s message is that young people, who may not even recognise the symptoms of COVID-19 or could carry the virus while totally symptom free, should still do their bit to stay the hell away from others.
“We who don’t belong to a risk group have an enormous responsibility, our actions can be the difference between life and death for many others,” she said.
You can read her full statement below. Get better soon, kid.
View this post on Instagram
The last two weeks I’ve stayed inside. When I returned from my trip around Central Europe I isolated myself (in a borrowed apartment away from my mother and sister) since the number of cases of COVID-19 (in Germany for instance) were similar to Italy in the beginning. Around ten days ago I started feeling some symptoms, exactly the same time as my father – who traveled with me from Brussels. I was feeling tired, had shivers, a sore throat and coughed. My dad experienced the same symptoms, but much more intense and with a fever. In Sweden you can not test yourself for COVID-19 unless you’re in need of emergent medical treatment. Everyone feeling ill are told to stay at home and isolate themselves. I have therefore not been tested for COVID-19, but it’s extremely likely that I’ve had it, given the combined symptoms and circumstances. Now I’ve basically recovered, but – AND THIS IS THE BOTTOM LINE: I almost didn’t feel ill. My last cold was much worse than this! Had it not been for someone else having the virus simultainously I might not even have suspected anything. Then I would just have thought I was feeling unusually tired with a bit of a cough. And this it what makes it so much more dangerous. Many (especially young people) might not notice any symptoms at all, or very mild symptoms. Then they don’t know they have the virus and can pass it on to people in risk groups. We who don’t belong to a risk group have an enormous responsibility, our actions can be the difference between life and death for many others. Please keep that in mind, follow the advice from experts and your local authorities and #StayAtHome to slow the spread of the virus. And remember to always take care of each other and help those in need. #COVID #flattenthecurve
If you think you may have coronavirus, either call your doctor (DON’T visit) or contact the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. If you’re struggling to breathe or experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.
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